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Class 1: How Food Has Shaped the World
Internationally renowned chef José Andrés kicked off his George Washington University food course, “The World on a Plate: How Food Shapes Civilization,” on Monday, January 14 with an overview of the class syllabus, which includes classes on “Food as an Industry,” the “Science of Food,” “Food and Politics,” “Food and Public Health,” and “Food and Culture.”
To follow along with the video, view the How Food Has Shaped the World class presentation.
Class 2: Food as an Industry
Restaurateur Danny Meyer joined José Andrés for the second "The World on a Plate" food class to discuss the food industry. Meyer, who is the CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group in New York, told students about his experiences and how the food industry has evolved. "Hospitality is being on the other person's side," said Meyer. "And food is love."
To follow along with the video, view the Food as an Industry class presentation.
Class 3: The Craft of Cooking
In his third class, The Craft of Cooking, José Andrés spanned the globe looking at unique foods—"eating crickets is weird to us for the same reason that eating hot dogs is weird to people in other countries"—and cooking techniques from smoking to fermentation to molecular gastronomy. Students got to see videos of the molecular gastronomy that goes into Andrés' dishes at his restaurant minibar as well as the history of how the craft of cooking has evolved. But he boiled the lecture down to one creed, "From pure fire, to molecular gastronomy, the craft of cooking is simply to make things taste good."
To follow along with the video, view the the Craft of Cooking class presentation.
Class 4: The Science of Food
Author Harold McGee and Harvard professor Michael Brenner led a discussion of the science of food, including sterilization, fermentation, chemistry, and the history of science in the food industry. McGee, author of On Food & Cooking: The Science & Lore of the Kitchen, brought the class through a history of science and food. Brenner, a professor of applied mathematics and applied physics at Harvard University joined the class virtually to explain the chemistry behind molecular gastronomy.
To follow along with the video, view the the Science of Food class presentation.
Class 5: Food Supply Chain
Food scholar Warren Belasco joined GW economist James Foster in discussion about the national and international food supply. Belasco discussed the hopes and fears of our food future, from his book "Meals to Come: A History of the Future of Food." He presented the stark facts of population and food requirements and motivated his lecture with the key questions: Will we starve? How will we feed future generations? James Foster continued with a discussion of the billion or so who are facing these same questions now amidst plenty. He explained how food consumption is the very basis for the definition of the poor and traced how the link between poverty and food and policy has developed over time. He then considered a recent avenue for creating change through what we buy, which he calls "provenance" - the information on the history of products that consumers need to make informed decisions.
Class 6: Food & Politics
National Archivist Alice Kamps joined GW Law Professor John Banzhaf to discuss how the government affects they way we eat, both purposefully and inadvertently. Kamps started by looking at the government's historical involvement in the production, regulation, research, innovation, and economics of our food supply as well as its attempts to change our eating habits. Banzhaf began with a discussion of America's number one health problem -- smoking -- and showed that as a result of a wide variety of governmental actions, including legislation, regulation, and litigation, the incidence of smoking has now been slashed. He then discussed to what extent the same is also true for obesity -- explaining how almost a dozen lawsuits, and several regulatory actions, are already playing a significant role in fighting the epidemic.
Class 7: The History of Food
Renowned American chef Chris Kimball led a discussion in the seventh "The World on a Plate" course on the history of food. Kimball, the author of The Cook's Bible and several other books and publications, walked students through the evolution of cooking and how technological progress has changed the way food is handled, stored and prepared.
Class 8: Food and Public Health
USDA Deputy Administrator for Food Safety and Inspection Service Philip Derfler and GW Assistant Professor Uriyoan Colon-Ramos lead a discussion on public health concerns and how it has helped shaped the food industry around the world.
Class 9: Food and Security
Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett of Mission Readiness and and Department of State's Special Representive for Global Food Security Jonathan Shrier led a discussion on security and food. Barnett focused on nutrition and the roll it plays in a healthy nation while Shrier discussed the Feed The Future Intiative and global food security.
Class 10: Hunger and Obesity
Kim Robien, from GW's School of Public Health, and Ellen Gustafason, co-founder of FEED Projects, join José Andrés for a discussion on how environmental factors play a roll in dictating our food selection.
Class 11: Food and Culture
Andrew Zimmern, host of the Travel Channel series Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, and Clay Warren, GW Chauncey M. Depew Professor of Communication, join José Andrés for a discussion about food and cultural influences. Zimmern spoke of his travel experiences all across the globe and how we can learn from different cultures. Dr. Warren talked about the persuasion tactics, including logos, ethos and pathos, used by advertisers, encouraging students to be skeptical consumers.
Class 12: Food Crisis and International Aid
John Forrer from the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Administation and Michael Elliott, CEO of ONE campaign, lead a discussion on food crisises around the world and international aid.